Many of you have asked KTB staff how to get more youth involved in your organization. Some of you have adult volunteers that may not be as familiar with technology and social media. Others are concerned about sustainability and passing your hard work and passion on to future generations.
Let's face it, none of us are getting any younger and if we don't continuously involve new and younger members in our organizations, we will eventually cease to exist. Your group of hard working staff, volunteers and board members have invested too much to see that happen. So how do you get these youngsters interested in your cause?
School Aged Youth:
School aged youth are an easy group. From elementary to college, there are constant requirements for kids to get involved in their community. Start early by sharing your passion through education at local schools. Encourage family participation in your events and invite youth groups from churches, schools and local scout troops. Hit up your local high schools, community colleges and universities. High school and college are full of required volunteer hours and students are usually struggling to find options.
So, what happens when they leave college and start careers and families of their own? What happens when they become young professionals?
Young professionals of today are part of the Millennial generation and are the largest generation to date. They are also the generation with the highest volunteerism rate. So, how do you get Millennials to offer their time and skills to your organization?
Young professionals are focused on starting or advancing their careers.They are highly social, connected and their time is valuable.Young professionals are more likely to be attracted to positions of leadership and exposure. Chairing a fundraiser or being on your board will allow them to network with other professionals and build their resume while giving their time. It's a mutually beneficial relationship where they gain as much as your organization. They may not be as experienced as your older volunteers, but they will bring new energy and ideas to the table. They can even help you recruit more young professionals.
Millenials are highly social and welcome opportunities to network and connect with peers. If you have no way to connect and share online then many volutneers, young proessionals included, will lose interest or have no outlet to learn about your organization. Make sure you have a current website with relevant, updated information and a few options for contacting the organization. A Facebook page, Instagram site or Twitter feed are good options for this. Social media is a great tool for volunteers to get connected, learn about your organization and share your content with others.
The bottom line is that these Millenials are newer in their careers and their time is valuable. They are also very social and connected through technology. If you are not out on platforms they follow, you will lose out on this pool of volunteers. Stay current, stay connected and offer mutually beneficial opportunities and you are on your way to sustaining your organization with future generations.
Check out more interesting articles on recruiting Millenials and other youth volunteers on our Pinterest site. You can also get more great volunteer management tips by reading our Volunteer Blog Series.
Blog Post written by Program Coordinator, Karen Maldonado.